University cancels first and second-year exams, moves teaching online

The University of Edinburgh has cancelled all first and second-year semester 2 final exams, and lectures are to be delivered online, beginning on the 23rd March, due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Additionally, students in year three and beyond will sit their exams through an online format.

The decision, announced on Friday 13th March via email and an announcement by Principal Peter Mathieson, resulted from the novel coronavirus or Covid-19 outbreak, which originated late last year in the city of Wuhan in Hubei Province, China.

The World Health Organization (WHO) announced on the 11th March that the outbreak is now officially classified as a pandemic.

The number of recorded cases in the UK is currently 1,543, with 37 deaths so far, and has risen rapidly since the beginning of March, when the number was 35.

Teaching at the University – through lectures, labs, tutorials and workshops – is suspended for the week of the 16th March.

The official University email stated that “There may be a few exceptions to this [exam cancellations] for personal accreditation and there will be further advice on that shortly.”

The University is advising visiting students to return “…if instructed to do so by your home institution.”

Those on Tier 4 visas, for whom proof of attendance at University is required, have been advised that they are not expected to attend university in person and are free to return home if they wish, as teaching will now be delivered remotely.

International travel by University staff and students will be restricted to “essential travel only” for a minimum of two months.

“Students should be assured that they will achieve their qualifications on time and an Edinburgh degree will still hold the same value,” reads the University’s covid-19 advice page.

“As you are all aware the world is facing a pandemic situation with the outbreak of COVID-19.

“As we make our decisions in this fast changing situation we are consulting closely with Government and the Public Health authorities.

“Our top priority is your health and wellbeing.”

Guidance has also been offered to students who may need to self-isolate if they suspect they have contracted the virus, and information is available about hand washing, wearing of face masks and general hygiene practices.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) will continue to be posted on the University’s Covid-19 advice page.

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